Monday, September 15, 2008

Screen Shots

A call to all users of charting software!

Often we read about trading systems and methods, risk management, triggers, market indicators, and the list goes on. As I read through blogs and trading books that talk about set-ups, triggers, stops I often ask myself "everything is being presented except the final piece of the puzzle", usually this is the entry and initial stop placement. Sure, once the trade gets going there is an entire different approach; when to take profits and how soon to move the stop. I wonder what the screen looks like that these guys are trading from? How do they arrange the windows to make it easy to monitor the things they need to monitor. I've seen pictures of huge desk's with multiple monitors. What's on these screens? Have you ever watched videos on Youtube by the "Suck My NASDAQ" guy? He's a day trader that makes pretty good calls but he never gives you details and never shows you his screen. Until we see what he is looking at, we cannot tell his source of info, or what he's using to form his "opinion". Not that we need too.

I thought I would use this blog to post some screen shots of various users. I don't know what exactly it will generate in terms of ideas or education, but it will be interesting. My screen has developed over the years moving averages and a bunch of indicators to only a few screens. I only use indicators I understand. My current screen for day trading has a 5 minute, 1 minute, risk screen, and pivot points. For end of day trading I use two screens which I have shown on previous videos, one that has moving averages and order entry (where I draw horizontal lines for entry, stop, and targets), and the other is the risk screen.

How to do a screen shot (screen capture)

Method 1: This is the method I use. Maximize your application that you want to capture. Press the "Prt Scr" key (above the "Home" key). Open up your email application and "paste" the image. If you want to trim it first, open up your Microsoft Paint or something similar (I use a really old version of Paint Shop Pro) and edit the image.

Method 2: Use other software the capture, Paint Shop Pro also does this (I use a really old version, simple but effective). You could also use something like screen Hunter 4.0 (Freeware).

The problem with looking at other peoples code and screen captures is that you tend to want to try it all to find the silver bullet. I've tried so many formulas and set-ups that I eventually figures out what I wanted. You don't know what you want or can have until you know the boundary's of what is available, then you find yourself satisfied. I'm down to using different types of moving averages, stochastics, ATR, and TTM on bar charts (I found that I don't like candlestick charts). I also found I prefer blue and red bars. This took hours of looking at charts to find my ultimate preference. So a word of caution when you look at screen shots, before you ask "how did you do that, can you share the code?", consider if it would really be useful to your trading game. On the other hand, perhaps you need to immerse yourself in all that's available in order to find what works for "you".
I would like to post screen shots of other users, doesn't matter what software you use. Please email me your screen shots to tsxtrends @ gmail dot com (fix the email address, it is modified to prevent spam engines). It would also be helpful to have a small description to help people understand “why” and "what" they are looking at.
Here is a screen shot of my EOD screens (using my IB simulated account). I'll post my other screens later next week.

Above: Main screen with MA's. Watch the videos for additional info on this screen.

Screen Shots by David W
He writes:
"I have lots of screens and indicators that I have tested and tried over the last few years – and now tend to use 2-5 indicators, CCI, and a price chart. In other words I have my favorites. This is a great idea because I got to this point looking at other peoples screens and setups. Would only take a few minutes for the screen shot. Also this is exactly how I am documenting my system – screen shots and descriptions in Word. Further, If I like someone’s idea – I add it to my future plan section in my Trading Plan. "


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